News: BioWare wants to know if fans would prefer Mass Effect 4 to be a prequel or a sequel

Mass Effects Executive Producer, Casey Hudson, has taken to the Twitterverse in order to poll the sci-fi franchises fans on what direction they would like the next installment to take. Specifically, he is interested in whether fans would prefer Mass Effect 4 to be a prequel or a sequel, saying on Twitter:

“Parsing through your thoughts on the next #ME game. Would you be more interested in a game that takes place before the trilogy, or after?”

Now, both possibilities would raise certain difficulties for the Montreal team (ME4 is in early development by BioWares B team, as opposed to the Edmonton squad who made the original trilogy). A prequel would have the uphill struggle of fitting the story in with already  established canon, and of course also would face the ‘Star Wars Dilemma’: how do you make the technology in a prequel seem suitably dated, yet still exciting? A sequel, on the other hand, would face the unenviable task of handling all of ME3’s different outcomes, which left the universe in varying states of disrepair.

Although concrete details are thin on the ground at this point, it is known that Commander Shepard will not feature as the games main protagonist. In fact, the series may be headed in a new direction overall. Last week, it was revealed that ME4 would utilize DICE’s beastly Frostbite 2, the engine used to create Battlefield 3’s dynamic, destructible landscapes. Yanick Roy, studio director over at BioWare Montreal, had this to say:

“While [Mass Effect 4] will be very respectful of the heritage built over the course of the first three games, with the original trilogy now concluded and the switch over to a new engine, we are exploring new directions, both on the gameplay and story fronts.”

So, readers, what do you think? Would you prefer Mass Effect 4 to be a prequel or a sequel? And what do you think the change of direction means for the series – does the use of Frostbite 2 mean we can expect to see a greater focus on the shooter elements, with BF3 style deforming environments? Leave us a comment or head to the forums!


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